How to Downsize Your Home Before Moving

Downsize Your Home Before Moving, Downsize Your Home Before Moving, Moving to a new home can be an exciting adventure, but it also requires some planning and preparation. One of the biggest tasks when moving is deciding what to take with you and what to leave behind. Downsizing your belongings before relocating can make your move much smoother. Here are some tips on the best ways to downsize your home before a big move.

Take Inventory and Declutter

The first step is to take a full inventory of everything you own. Walk through each room and make a list of your belongings. This will help you see what you really have and decide what you actually need to keep.

As you’re taking inventory, start decluttering as you go. Be ruthless about getting rid of anything you don’t use, wear, or need. Have a donation box or bag handy to immediately discard unused items. Some common categories of clutter to eliminate are:

  • Old clothes and shoes you don’t wear anymore
  • Books you’ve already read
  • Knickknacks and decor items that just collect dust
  • Kitchen gadgets and appliances you never use
  • Old electronics, cables, and chargers
  • Sentimental items you don’t have room for
  • Your old documents and files can be digitized

Decluttering as you take inventory will leave you with just the essentials.

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Hold a Garage Sale

A great way to downsize and earn a little extra moving money is to hold a garage sale. Pricing and selling unwanted household items, furniture, clothes, toys, and more can lighten your load for the move.

When preparing for a pre-move garage sale:

  • Organize items by category such as housewares, electronics, clothing racks, etc.
  • Price items to sell using stickers. Research similar items online to set fair prices.
  • Advertise the sale on social media, community websites, and yard sale sites.
  • Put up eye-catching signs and balloons around the neighborhood.
  • Have an assistant to help with customers when it gets busy.
  • Offer deals like “fill a box for $5” at the end to clear out remaining items.

Holding a successful garage sale takes some work, but it’s worth it to downsize and earn extra moving funds.

Donate and Recycle, To Downsize your home before moving

For any items left over after decluttering and garage selling, consider donating or recycling them. Look for local organizations that accept donations of:

  • Furniture, housewares, and appliances
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Books, toys, bikes
  • Non-perishable food

Donating gives your unused stuff a new life and helps those in need.

What can’t be donated should be recycled. Electronics, batteries, and other hazardous materials need to be disposed of properly. Contact your local waste management company to find recycling facilities that take:

  • Electronics, computers, TVs
  • Batteries
  • Light bulbs
  • Paint cans
  • Tires

Donating and recycling reduces waste and ensures certain items won’t end up in landfills.

Read: A Complete Guide to Eco-Friendly Moving

Decide What Makes the Cut

The most difficult part of downsizing is deciding what makes the cut to take with you during the move. Start by separating everything into categories:


These are your essentials – furniture, clothes, kitchenware, etc. – that you use daily and cannot live without. If it’s a must-have, it comes with you.


You love these items and they make your house feel like home – decor, hobbies, books, extra furniture pieces. But you can live without them if needed.


Things that are broken, unused, or you just don’t have room for in your new home. These should be sold, donated, or trashed. Be practical about what you actually need versus what you’re keeping for sentimental reasons. If it’s impractical, expensive, or stressful to move, it may not be worth packing up.

Pack Strategically to Downsize your home before moving

Pack intelligently so you know exactly what’s going on with you. Clearly label boxes by room and contents. Separate boxes into essentials and non-essentials.

Prioritize packing:

  • Items you’ll need immediately at the new home
  • Fragile and valuable items
  • Heirlooms or sentimental items

Pack room by room so it’s organized when you unpack. Leave the boxes you won’t need right away to unload last. Strategic packing makes for an organized move so you can locate your most needed items first.

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Creating Space

Downsizing belongings allows you to create open space in your new living quarters. Pick a new home based on the items you decided to keep after decluttering. Aim for a home with less storage room and square footage than your current house. This forces you to continue living with only essentials.

The work of downsizing before a move pays off with a fresh start in a new living space. Follow these tips to thoughtfully choose what makes the cut so you transition smoothly into your next home.

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